STUDY GUIDE 2018/2019 -TILBURG

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urbanism

year

1

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period 1

period 2

period 3

period 4

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landscape

architecture 2

urbanism 2

planning

core 2

research 1

critical thinking 1

impact

urban theory

urban society

worldschool

winterschool 2

practice portfolio 2

out of the box

sustainable design

wildcard

portfolio 2

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Academic year

Course name

Ects

Study year

Semester

Sessions

 

Tutors

 

Examinations

 

 

Work form

EU Qualifications

2018-2019

CORE 2

5

2

1

8 weeks, Fridays from 09:30 – 17:30 pm

Filippo Maria Doria

Marc Schoonderbeek

SKILLS TEST AND ARCHITECTUAL DESIGN PROJECT

STUDIO

a, b, c, e, g, h, i

 

 

CONTENT

‘The manner of speaking says more than what one says. The content is of no essential importance whatsoever’

Paul Valery, L’idée fixe ou deux homes à la mer

 

ARCHITECTURE & THEORY

Starting with Vitruvius’s ten books on architecture, the historical origin of ‘architectural theory’ is located in the great tradition of architectural treatise writing. Through the written and drawn accounts of a treatise, architectural and building practices are extended to include at least two distinctive activities, namely the prescriptive gathering and systematized ordering of knowledge; and the possibility of debate and discussion of the inherent logic and meaning of these practices. Architectural theory, at least until the 18th century, maintained and cultivated this prescriptive character by insisting on its basic objective to provide for a systematic body of knowledge, combined with a set of instructions that ‘ground’ architectural production. During the Enlightenment the architectural treatises gained more precision through the attempt to provide for the scientific basis of architecture based on principles of reason. Still, in all these cases, theory was considered to be the proper means to develop such a consistent way of thinking and working in architecture. In the course of time, however, theory started to increasingly emphasize its reflective role, i.e. the second category mentioned above, and transformed into architectural criticism.

In addition, architectural discourse has become increasingly aware of the exponential growth of its possible tasks. This growing of tasks has obvious been a result of the industrial revolution and the emergence of capitalism, and as a result has meant that the original set of instructions defined in the history of architectural theory, which addressed a rather limited amount of possible architectural projects, no longer dealt with the entire range of (future) possible architectural action and, therefore, production. Nowadays, theory seems to have become rather ill equipped to still provide for a systematic body of knowledge in a period during which a substantial ‘division of labor’ has been further enhanced. Furthermore, since also the tasks of the architect have been broadened, and even made explicitly open and flexible to allow for adjustments based on the logic of the market-economy, theory can no longer properly anticipate the architect’s production a priori, but has to approximate these.

 

ARCHITECTURE & PRODUCTION

Then, what to do when this specific prescriptive role that was played out in architectural theory previously can no longer be relied upon in contemporary architectural production? And, more importantly, how to operate within this state of uncertainty regarding the appropriateness of architectural production when the criteria for its assessment has been set in motion? This state of indeterminacy has been met with a wide variety of strategies in current architectural discourse, most of which have turned their attention to more tangible criteria to assess their production. Especially the current fascinations with techniques (rather than discourse) seem to be at the core of these tendencies. This has resulted in the current situation in which architectural production is determined by an emphasis on technological and other kinds of responses toward tangible and definable ‘problems’. However, architecture cannot, under any circumstances, be reduced to mere problem solving as architecture is inherently problematic in and of itself. The most intriguing and challenging aspect of this current situation is the ability to rethink the essence of architectural production while simultaneously remaining truthful to the state of indeterminacy. If architectural design is essentially a form of ‘projective casting’, namely the unknown anticipation of a future state, and if the act of architectural drawing is equally a ‘projective grasping’ (i.e. a touching that is oriented forward into an unknown), then it becomes clear that architectural production needs to think through the state of indetermninance and embrace, in a way, the absence of any fixed ground concerning the production of architecture. This, in essence, does not fundamentally alter the prerequisite of architectural theory, namely to provide for concepts guiding its production, an related terminology with which to address this production, as well as a set of tools, instruments, techniques and methods with which to implement, develop and elaborate this production.

 

COLLAGE, MONTAGE AND ASSEMBLAGE

In the attempt to clarify the relation between architectural theory and architectural design, and to mediate on the ways they reciprocally influence each other, this course will start with an exploration of the relevance of assemblage, montage and collage theories for architecture. Originally both philosophical constructions and/or artistic techniques, all three forms of thinking have an intriguing importance for architectural discourse. More than ‘mere’ techniques, assemblage, montage and collage allow for an understanding of architectural construct that frames thinking to spatial realities and material entities. In the course, the initial claim will be that collage is specific technique primarily employed in painting and drawing, while montage is issued primarily in cinema and photography and assemblage is more related to architecture and sculpture. Upon further review, however, this initial and seemingly clear distinction will turn out to be difficult to maintain. By discussing assemblage, montage and collage from the perspective of architectural theory as well as architectural design, the course intends to focuses in first instance specific attention to these issue of collage, montage and assemblage as a way to understand as well as initiate and deepen architectural production. Through the theoretical framing of assemblage, montage and collage, the terminology, technique and methodology can/will be addressed in architectural theories, architectural projects and architectural practices. Key terms will be: agency, heterogeneity, multiplicity, disjunction, joint, stacking, adjacencies, territoriality and decomposability.

 

LITERATURE

Literature for ‘Skills’ part:

_Francesco Dal Co, ‘Excellence: The Culture of Mies as Seen in his Notes and Books’, in: John Zukowsky (ed.), Mies Reconsidered: His Career, Legacy, and Disciples (New York: Rizzoli, 1986).

_Detlef Mertins (ed.), The Presence of Mies (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1994).

 

Literature for ‘Design’ part:

_Jennifer A.E. Shields, Collage and Architecture (NY & London: Routledge, 2014).

_Ben Nicholson, Appliance House (Cambridge/London: The MIT Press, 1990).

_Manuel de Landa, Assemblage Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

_Bernard Tschumi, Manhattan Transcipts (London: Academy Editions, 1981/1994).

_Mark Wigley, ‘Paper, Scissor, Blur’, in: Catherine de Zegher and Mark Wigley, The Activist Drawing; Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond  (Cambridge/London, The MIT Press, 2001).

_Hesam Kamalipour and Nastaran Peimani, ‘Assemblage Thinking and the City: Implications for Urban Studies’, online: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/cus.2015.34031 .

 

RESULTS

The end product is a series of skill excercises, in which issues of assemblage, montage and collage in architectural theory and practice are analysed, explored and elaborated. A small text (1500 words) forms the conclusive statement of these analytical exercises.

 

The end product for the design part is a full architectural design based on 7 transformative exercices in which an initial assembled architectural object is explored and expanded upon. Since the purpose of the course is to gradually develop and discover the inner logic of the initial architectural object, each studio participant determines her/himself the final outcome of the project (in consultance with the studio teachers, of course). End products will range from sketches, collages, montages, assemblages to models, drawings, mappings and details; in scale ranging from 1:1 to 1:1000.

 

EXAMINATION

Skills test and architectural design project

 

OBJECTIVES

Several objectives are related to the choice to relate architectural theory to architectural design, through issues of assemblage, montage and collage:

1] it allows for a discussion of the central (or core) aspects and concepts of architectural production nowadays.

2] it allows for the contemplation on the relationship between architectural form and its inherent meanings (ie how content relates to form).

3] it allows for an exploration of (some of) the terminology used in contemporary architectural discourse.

4] it allows for an employment of different techniques and methods of contemporary theory and design in architecture.

5] it allows for a testing of the tools and instruments used for architectural design

6] it allows for an insight into (some of) the more relevant theories, projects and practices in architecture of the last 30 years.

 

 

COMPETENCES

Design, Level 2

Research, Level 2

Communicating, Level 2